Letter to John Boehner, Speaker of the House, Eric Cantor, House Majority Leader, Bob Goodlatte, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee - Voting Rights Act


By: Eddie Johnson, Bobby Scott, Peter Welch, Paul Tonko, Sanford Bishop, Jr., Gwen Moore, Jim Langevin, Elizabeth Esty, Joe Kennedy III, Lacy Clay, Jr., Alan Lowenthal, George Miller, Al Green, Brad Sherman, Juan Vargas, Matt Cartwright, Bobby Rush, Corrine Brown, Marc Veasey, Joe Garcia, Julia Brownley, Rick Nolan, Lloyd Doggett II, Annie Kuster, Gerry Connolly, Ed Pastor, Gary Peters, Madeleine Bordallo, Colleen Hanabusa, Dan Kildee, Tim Bishop, David Price, Cedric Richmond, Emanuel Cleaver II, Robin Kelly, David Cicilline, Jared Polis, John Delaney, Tony Cárdenas, Rosa DeLauro, John Yarmuth, Hakeem Jeffries, Henry Waxman, Mike Honda, John Carney, Jr., Linda Sánchez, Eleanor Norton, Raul Ruiz, Kyrsten Sinema, Henry Cuellar, Sheila Jackson Lee, G. K. Butterfield, Jr., Lois Capps, Danny Davis, Ben Lujan, Jr., Ted Deutch, Judy Chu, Anna Eshoo, Sam Farr, Steve Cohen, Adam Schiff, Kathy Castor, Keith Ellison, Nick Rahall II, Mark Takano, Eric Swalwell, Sandy Levin, John Dingell, Tim Ryan, John Barrow, Beto O'Rourke, Brian Higgins, Chris Van Hollen, Jr., Sean Maloney, Albio Sires, Allyson Schwartz, Jackie Speier, Jim Himes, Donna Edwards, Rubén Hinojosa, Sr., José Serrano, Eliot Engel, Bill Enyart, Yvette Clarke, Alan Grayson, Steny Hoyer, John Conyers, Jr., Michelle Lujan Grisham, Nita Lowey, Filemon Vela, Jr., Bill Foster, Jim Moran, Jr., Xavier Becerra, Don Payne, Jr., Frank Pallone, Jr., Earl Blumenauer, Hank Johnson, Jr., Eni Faleomavaega, André Carson, Susan Davis, Derek Kilmer, John Garamendi, Marcia Fudge, Denny Heck, Terri Sewell, Frederica Wilson, Pete Gallego, Alcee Hastings, Sr., Jim McDermott, Betty McCollum, Elijah Cummings, Ed Perlmutter, Luis Gutiérrez, Raul Grijalva, Katherine Clark, Mike Quigley, Steve Israel, Zoe Lofgren, Joe Crowley, Barbara Lee, Jim Clyburn, Doris Matsui, Adam Smith, Niki Tsongas, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Ron Kind, Peter DeFazio, Gene Green, Jared Huffman, Ami Bera, Jim Cooper, Carolyn Maloney, Charlie Rangel, Suzanne Bonamici, Joyce Beatty, Ron Barber, Scott Peters, Jan Schakowsky, Karen Bass, Janice Hahn, Pedro Pierluisi, Mike Thompson, Jerry Nadler, Mark Pocan, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Bruce Braley, Diana DeGette, Gregory Meeks, Rush Holt, Jr., Louise Slaughter, Chellie Pingree, Steven Horsford, Rick Larsen, Jim McGovern, John Tierney, Cheri Bustos, Lois Frankel, Dina Titus
Date: March 31, 2014
Location: Washington, DC

Dear Speaker Boehner, Leader Cantor, and Chairman Goodlatte:

In the Supreme Court's decision in Shelby County v. Holder last year, Chief Justice Roberts expressly acknowledged the persistence of voter discrimination and challenged Congress to formulate an updated coverage formula to protect against it. H.R. 3899, the Voting Rights Amendment Act, is a bipartisan bill that would restore the safeguards of the 1965 Voting Rights Act in a manner consistent with the Shelby County decision. Some of us believe the bill should be enacted in its current form, and some of us would prefer to see it amended. But all of us stand united in our desire for the House to consider the issue in time for the entire Congress to work its will before the August district work period.

In that spirit, we ask that the Judiciary Committee hold a hearing on this legislation and proceed toward a markup with full confidence that any legislation passed out of the committee will be considered on the House floor. We stand ready to work with you to move the bipartisan bill to the floor expeditiously. We are confident that a bipartisan bill passed by the House would be swiftly passed by the Senate and signed into law by the President.

While we differ in our views on the ideal response to Shelby County, we all hope to join you in building on the bipartisan agreement that has been reached to ensure that, as President Ronald Reagan said, "no barrier will come between our citizens and the voting booth."